Take a Look at the 2014 Malibu, Unveiled Friday

DETROIT ( TheStreet) -- The 2013 Malibu was not what you would call a huge success, so GM ( GM)unveiled a new model Friday.

In the auto industry's toughest segment, mid-sized sedans, Malibu has been an also-ran, competing against more striking cars like the Ford ( F) Fusion, Toyota ( TM) Camry and Honda ( HMC) Accord.

The 2014 model is "a roomier, more refined and more efficient execution of its midsize sedan (with) updated styling, a revised interior, a new 2.5L standard engine and suspension enhancements," GM said in a press release. The car goes on sale this fall.

In the first four months of the year, Malibu sales fell 12% to 70,913. During the same period, Accord sales rose 26% to 121,965. Fusion sales rose 26% to 107,280 and Camry sales fell 7% to 132,540.

"The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu builds on the strengths established by the all-new 2013 Malibu to make it a stronger choice for customers," said Mark Reuss, president, General Motors North America, in a prepared statement. "The midsize sedan segment is the most contested in the industry and we're not sitting still with the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu."

Speaking to reporters in Detroit on Friday, Reuss said, "We're not going to sit around and wait for validation in the marketplace," The Detroit News reported.

In the days of the old GM, Reuss said, the company would have defended the 2013 Malibu, but now the company's approach is to admit the car has flaws and fix them, the newspaper reported. GM showed the 2014 Malibu during an event at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.

New features include a revised front-end appearance, a roomier rear seat with 1.25 inches more knee room, a redesigned center console, and a new 2.5L engine with variable valve lift control and start/stop technology intended to deliver fuel economy of 23 miles per gallon city and 35 mpg highway, for a 5% improvement in city mileage and 3% better highway efficiency.

"We made changes within 18 months, demonstrating an unprecedented commitment to make the Malibu the best car it can be," said Ken Kelzer, executive chief engineer, global full-size and midsize cars, in a prepared statement.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

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